So another big fashion retailer has set up shop in Facebook, this time US chain Aéropostale [screenshots below], which has over 1000+ stores across North America, and a few scattered around the globe.
With it’s core teen demographic, a Facebook fan-store is a logical step for the Abercrombie-on-a-budget fashion brand.
Built by Usablenet, the Facebook store looks like a simple port of Aéropostale’s mobile site onto a Facebook canvas – also developed by Usablenet.
Whilst it’s a great first step, this cost-efficient and simple ‘kill-two-birds-with-one-stone’ approach of cloning m-commerce sites into Facebook may under-leverage f-commerce potential. Specifically, we think Aéropostale would benefit from differentiating it’s fan-store in Facebook from it’s m-commerce site.
More specifically still, we think the Aéropostale fan-store would have more chance of flying if it was used to sell an exclusive and curated range of gear specifically to fans. Why? Because, ss a word of mouth medium, Facebook commerce is more likely to succeed when it harnesses the three proven word of mouth triggers – exclusive experiences, empowered involvement, and sharing incentives. By using the fan-store to activate fan advocacy with limited editions, fan-first exclusives and fan-deals for distressed stock, Aéropostale would turn its fans into a volunteer sales force.
In other words, by using its Facebook fan-store to offer a privileged and exclusive VIP experience to fans, Aéropostale would give its fan-store a genuine and differentiated raison-d’etre; driving loyalty and advocacy among fans. Perhaps we’re mistaken, but we see limited utility for customers and businesses in simply cloning what’s already available just one click away.
So Aéropostale, if your Facebook sales don’t live up to expectations, don’t panic, and don’t throw the f-commerce store baby out with the old m-commerce bathwater. Instead use your f-store for fan-commerce, offering exclusivity, involvement and incentives to drive loyalty and advocacy (download our latest report on f-commerce for more).